Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean article! On this shiok Saturday, I’m introducing the new Belgrano from New York based watch microbrand, Martenero.
Martenero is a microbrand that has gathered quite a lot of attention from mainstream watch press in recent years. Their previous release, the Edgemere Reserve, not only raised over $100K USD on Kickstarter, but was also covered by Watch Time, Hodinkee, A Blog to Watch, Monochrome, Theo and Harris, Two Broke Watch Snobs, and a special collaborative edition with Worn and Wound is even available! It’s safe to say that Martenero is one of the foremost darlings of the microbrand world, alongside brands such as Halios, Autodromo, and Farer.
The Belgrano is the brand’s first foray into dive watches, and it is currently live on Kickstarter here. Let’s take a quick look at it!
Martenero Belgrano – First Look
One look at the Belgrano and you can tell that it’s a Martenero watch – the brand’s design DNA is keenly felt in their maiden dive watch.
If you’re looking at the Belgrano as an everyday watch, the black and blue dial variants are likely more up your alley. The black dial variant features a matte black dial, with a black/baby blue bezel and a matching baby blue second hand. The blue dial variant possesses a lovely sunburst blue dial, with a blue/orange bezel and a complementing orange second hand. According to the owner, blue dial variant is his personal favourite. I agree – out of the two, I definitely prefer the blue variant as it looks more striking on the wrist.
For those seeking something a little more different, the red and white dial variants are for you! The white dial variant features a sunburst white dial with navy indices, a navy second hand, and a white/navy bezel. While I think the white Belgrano looks sweet, my personal pick would have to be the red variant. I love the boldness of the red – when’s the last time you saw a red dive watch? The red variant features a matte red dial, a white second hand, and a red/white bezel. I love the red/white colour combination, which coincidentally reminds me of the colours of the Singaporean flag.
The dial has some nice depth to it as well, with applied indices and a recessed date window. In addition, the 120-click unidirectional bezel is acrylic, which gives the watch a nice vintage touch. I think the aesthetic of the multi-coloured bezel is familiar, but nonetheless refreshing. For example, although the variant above features the iconic “Batman” design, the watch doesn’t come off as an homage as the blue portion is limited to only the first 15 minutes of the dive bezel. That’s smart.
I only have these media pictures to work off on – not an actual prototype – but judging from the photos the finishing of the Belgrano seems to be pretty good. The print on the dial is crisp, the bezel has nice little grooves to ease rotation, and the brushed lugs looks nicely sculpted as well.
Despite the low $279 USD/ ~S$394 price point, the specifications of the Martenero Belgrano is actually pretty decent. For starters, the watch features scratch-resistant sapphire crystal to protect the dial. Secondly, the Belgrano uses the workhorse Seiko NH35A movement. It’s bulletproof – I own at least a dozen watches with Seiko NH35 movements in them, and have never encountered any issues. It’s hacking, hand-winding, beats at 21,600 bph, and has 41 hours of power reserve. Lastly, the Belgrano possesses Swiss C1 Superluminova, which should result in the watch glowing brightly in the dark.
Perhaps the best part of the Martenero Belgrano is its dimensions. As aforementioned, there are no shortages of dive watches on Kickstarter – it seems like a new one pops up every week. However, many tend to veer more on the larger, bulkier side. The Belgrano takes the path less taken with a vintage inspired 39mm diameter. Measuring at 46mm lug to lug with a maximum thickness of 13.4mm, the Belgrano should (on paper) wear similar to the much lauded Tudor Black Bay 58. Personally, I love the smaller size of the Belgrano – it makes the dive watch look and feel more refined.
All in all, I think the Martenero Belgrano is a winner. Not only is it the brand’s first dive watch, it’s also its most affordable timepiece till date. Yet, it doesn’t compromise in terms of specifications, nor in design, in which it retains Martenero’s iconic colourful design aesthetics. The 39mm dimensions makes the Belgrano a versatile watch for all wrist sizes too. At just $279 USD/ ~S$394, the Martenero Belgrano is – in my opinion – the best dive watch you can get for under $300 USD/ ~S$400 currently. Early bird slots are filling up fast though, so you’ll need to act fast if you’re interested!
Back the Martenero Belgrano here.
- Movement: Seiko NH35
- Type: Mechanical (Automatic, Hacking)
- Beats Per Hour: 21,600
- Power Reserve: 41 Hours
- Jewels: 24
- Material: 316L Stainless Steel
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Water Resistance: 200 meters
- Crown: Screw-Down
- Colors: White, Red, Dark Blue, Black
- Lume: C1 Superluminova
- Indices: Applied
- Finishing: Mild Sunburst/Semi-Gloss
- Diameter: 39 mm
- Lug To Lug: 46 mm
- Thickness: 13.4 mm at the center; tapers to 11.3 mm at the side (downward sloping bezel)
- Lug Width: 20 mm
- Material: 316L Stainless Steel
- Style: Flat Link
- Width: 20 mm, Tapering to 16 mm
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.